“What a lot of unpleasantness and win at all cost bollox
we encountered on the day ” Alan Richards
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With each passing day The People’s Cup experience recedes into the memory bank…..
- First…the morning after..
..So, having had a great night out last night when I seldom gave walking football a second thought today was a day to revisit yesterday…and start to sort the video of all four games in which we played in this ‘F.A. Peoples’ Cup and to reflect a little on the day itself. Weather first of all was a severe let down – but it is February, after all. Organisation. Poor. No footwear checks – NO COMPULSORY shinguard rule applied. No I.D. Check. If you’re not going to implement your rules then don’t have them. Playing it by the book ALL of our players brought I.D. and shinguards. We were summoned to arrive at least forty minutes sooner than necessary, but never mind. The Referee has NEVER officiated at walking football before. Nevertheless, I would not have missed this. I was not on the pitch and to be honest I never will be again in Over 50’s competitive external walking football. Just too much aggression and quick play from people who still think this game is FOOTBALL – they should know better but brain capacity varies from man to man. MY body is the only one ~I’ve got… it’s already been reconstructed in parts and I’ve no intention of putting that under this kind of scrutiny, this kind of risk. For those that did play I’m sure you all derived something good from the day. Even if it sounds cheesy I still need to say I was proud of all of our players in that environment. Garry’s goalkeeping has come in for singular, special praise. Keeping shots out is his bread and butter but we ARE lucky to have such a specialist. Terry Bertenshaw too with SIX goals – superb.
That’s the trailer out of the way…so now the Middleton Movie…SOUNDTRACK IS LOUD, AND NOT IMPARTIAL. I GET EXCITED AS DID OTHERS AROUND ME – NO APOLOGIES. Turn the volume down, or off if it gets on yer wick.
Saturday February 25th. Ardwick, Manchester.
Well. We went, we competed…we did ok. Opponents were Middleton Legends, Fit City Kickers, Vintage Celtic and a team calling themselves ‘Man City’.
Played 4 won 1 drew 2 lost one. Failed to progress by just a point or two. Never mind eh? ….Why? you may ask….
Frankly , the Refereeing started off abysmally, then slightly improved to poor. Overt physicality from some teams saw the game of walking football reduced to a nonsense of running, tackling and upper body wrangling. Throw in some bad language, constant carping and you have an afternoon best forgotten. This Over 50’s competitive football is a dog’s breakfast of older blokes who think they are still playing football. A game they have left long behind, but they refuse to dispense with the notion. Blatant strong arm tactics from a few blokes trying to impose themselves on others. Few smiles all afternoon – zero humour – the weather didn’t help, did it? Proud of our players who competed all afternoon in the right way. Of course, we sometimes ran. I would not claim that we were not partly to blame but when others are getting away with it, it is hard not to run! Those of us who have this game’s interests at heart really have to address this issue. WE ALL NEED TO SLOW DOWN!
We assumed the right footwear – Astro Trainers – looking at the more colourful soles on a few of those football ‘boots’…where DO some of these player’s think they are? Wythenshawe Park, or Hough End after a week of rain? Positives: We had the best goalkeeper, the best finisher by a country mile.. and as your Manager on the day – I applaud you all, from White to Cooper, from Nixon to Brereton, from Garry ‘the cat’ Pearce to Stewart White…and the guys who came to watch, Steve and Tony. A credit to the camaraderie within our group. We know what we are. If you don’t please see ‘About us- an introduction’ from the menu.
This national WALKING FOOTBALL competition is almost upon us. Thankfully, it’s local – in the initial stages anyway. You’ll no doubt have seen the ads. ‘BE INSPIRED’ I hope we all are !
Let’s go their to make a mark on the competition (rather than our opponents) and play the game in the best of sprit. We may not be as young as some who are taking part but let’s go there and enjoy it !
FOOTNOTE: A day none of us would have missed, but one which may not be repeated. Enough said.
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